Are you an athlete in high school? Then you know that you face challenges above and beyond everyone else: you need to attend practice and go to games; your schedule is already filled to the brink; and you still have to look out for athletic recruiters and scholarships! Here are some big SAT prep tips for athletes — some that apply to everyone but especially to athletes, and others that are athlete exclusive.
1. Are you a recruited athlete? Know your SAT score goal — it's different from everyone else's
If you're aiming to be recruited by colleges, especially those that care about sports, then you don't have the same exact SAT target as everyone else. Why? Because colleges understand that being an athlete is difficult, and you don't have as much time to brush up. The rule of thumb is that achieving 80% of a school's median SAT score is sufficient pass their academic bar.
For example, Harvard has a median SAT score that's around 1540. If you get a 1510, you're actually in a pretty good spot. This means that if you're already above this mark, you can study a bit less for the SAT — no need to go wild spending thousands of dollars on tutoring or hundreds of hours.
What's a good way to study? Here at PrepScholar we measure your real score within the first two weeks. You know exactly where you stand, and then you can keep on prepping until you meet your goal.
2. Fit SAT Study around your athletic schedule
Your main talent is in athletics, and you don't want your game to suffer because you're missing practices. A lot of SAT classes meet during prime practice time — right after school or for long periods during weekends.
Given that, some great ways to study are ones that can be flexible to your schedule. If you study well from books, then this is a great way to study. Online test prep programs like PrepScholar work as well — you can sign in whenever and get the full training you need. Be careful — some online programs require you to schedule classes or have rigid sessions with live humans — that could put a damper in practice.
3. Get Started on SAT Prep As Soon as You Can
You don't have the luxury of waiting until a week before the test to cram 40 hours into studying — you have to get started right now! If you're going too fast (less likely than you think), then just slow down before exam time. Your schedule is so busy that you need to spread your studying out to get all the time in.
4. Understand What College Coaches Care About
College coaches want to make sure you have what it takes to pass muster in classes. They're afraid of their star quarterback being put on academic probation and not being able to make the big game. If your GPA is a little weak, you can use your SAT score to tell them that you've improved since freshman year, and you have what it takes to stay on the team. Thus, a good SAT score can make up for your GPA.
Like the tips above? Get more in the Free SAT Guide:Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!
Fred is co-founder of PrepScholar. He scored a perfect score on the SAT and is passionate about sharing information with aspiring students. Fred graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor's in Mathematics and a PhD in Economics.